Friday, March 23, 2012

When you feel like it, and when you don’t

In many writing blogs and books and advice, people say to make a schedule. 4 hours a day writing, or 5 hours in front of the computer, or 2000 words, or 10 pages... The exact kind of schedule varies, and should, depending on the writer--what they are comfortable with and what works for them.

This is good advice.

It’s important for someone who wants to be a writer to sit down and write regularly, even when they don’t feel like it.

But I know there are days when writers don’t feel like it.

I am having one of those days today. Technically, I am grading today, not writing, but I don’t think I’d be able to write even if I wanted to. I am dealing with a frustrating situation, and it’s making my headache worse, and I don’t even feel like grading right now, but like a writing schedule, it is something that has to get done.

To me, the goal is not always to plow through a bad mood and force oneself to continue writing (or grading) no matter what. Sometimes that can just make things more frustrating. On a few occasions when I’ve done that, I still get little to nothing done and end the day feeling as bad or worse because I put aside the time and still didn’t accomplish my goal.

On those days, I think the solution isn’t to plow through the mood block, it’s to fix the mood.

Take a walk, watch a funny movie, take a nap, call up a friend, play a computer game (just for a while, not all day; the cheapy computer games you buy for 5 or 10 bucks work well for this), but do something that helps you get away from the thing causing the frustration, or change the scenery to escape the other cues of your bad mood.

That is what I should do, too. Which I guess means that I should end this post now.
Happy writing, everyone.